Courtesy of athletics.SJFC.edu
PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Senior Sammy Robinson became the 25th player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points as the nationally-ranked St. John Fisher College men’s basketball team opened up its season at home with an 89-71 loss to Union College inside Manning and Napier Varsity Gymnasium on Bobby Wanzer Court. With the defeat, Fisher, which is ranked 25th in the latest D3hoops.com poll, fell to 0-1, while the Dutchmen improved to 2-0 overall.
Robinson, who now sits at 1,006 career points, finished with a double-double including a team-high 19 points and 12 rebounds to go along with a pair of blocks. The forward is the third Cardinal in as many years to reach the milestone as he joins Ryan Henderson from a season ago and Tyler English in 2018.
In all, four finished in double figures with Dennis Hare adding 16 points and six boards in 30 minutes while Matt Asenjo added 13 points of his own. Senior James Leone chipped in with 11 points and nine rebounds in the loss while Sean Williams contributed four points and a pair of steals off the bench.
The Cardinals would strike first as Robinson connected on a 3-pointer from the elbow extended to stake Fisher to an early lead, but the Dutchmen would counter with a 6-0 burst to hold a 10-7 edge with three minutes gone by.
Trailing by one possession, the tides would shift again as the Cardinals went on an 8-0 run highlighted by three points from Robinson and Mark Valeriani to turn a three-point deficit into a five-point lead, 15-10.
The advantage would grow to as many as seven points following a lay-up from Hare, but the momentum would slow for the Cardinals as Union took advantage with 15 of the game’s next 19 points to open up a 27-21 cushion with 7:33 to go before the break.
Down by six points, the Cardinals continued to push as Asenjo buried a 3-pointer in the corner on a feed from Leone that sparked a 9-2 run to give Fisher a slim lead, 30-29. The advantage would be short-lived, however, as Union closed out the opening half with an 11-2 run capped off by a buzzer-beater to take an eight-point hold into the locker room.
Coming out of the break, Leone set the tone with an old-fashioned 3-point play as Fisher quickly knocked down the Dutchmen lead with six unanswered points.
As the half wore on, a bucket from Williams pulled the Cardinals to within two points before another 3-point play from Hare gave Fisher its first lead since early in the first half.
Fisher would keep it close over the next two minutes until Union caught fire from behind the arc with three field goals from distance as part of a larger 20-7 run to take a double-digit lead, 66-54, with under eight minutes remaining.
From there, the home team would pull to within 10, but was never able to regain its footing as Union connected on 10-of-12 free throws down the stretch to remain unbeaten on the season.
As a team, Fisher was 21-of-60 from the floor and 26-of-36 from the charity stripe. The Cardinals out-rebounded their opponent, 41-38, and forced Union in to 19 turnovers in all.
The Cardinals will look to claim their first win of the season at 6 p.m. on Friday when they travel to Buffalo to take on Cazenovia in the opening round of the Hilbert College Tip-Off Tournament.